HomeAdvanced Reading and Use of English Part 1


  • In this task, there is a text with eight gaps (plus one example).
  • For each gap, there is a choice of four words or phrases: A, B, C and D. You have to choose the correct one to fill the gap.
  • You need to read the text carefully and think about its meaning in order to fill the gaps correctly.
  • The gaps focus on vocabulary items rather than grammar words.
  • To fill some of the gaps correctly, you will need to know how words often combine in collocations and set phrases.



Explain why the underlined words do not fit in these sentences. Then suggest a word which could replace it without making any other changes to the sentence.

  1. Jackie has got a good work as PA to a successful novelist. 
  2. You can count George to be willing to help you out if you encounter any problems. 
  3. Don’t worry to ask if you need any help with your project. 
  4. The hotel receptionist will explain you how to get to the conference centre. 
  5. The train travel from Moscow to Beijing takes several days. 
  6. A police is questioning the person who they suspect of stealing my bike. [/five_sixth]

[one_sixth_last]Sometimes a word will not fit because of something in the grammar around it.[/one_sixth_last]


[five_sixth]❶ Three of the words in each set collocate with the given verb. One does not.
Which are the three correct collocations?

  1. give  permission  someone a favour  a presentation  someone a hand
  2. lay  claim to  the blame on  the table  an excuse
  3. make  a mistake  plans  a noise  your best
  4. pay  attention  a ticket  tribute to  a compliment
  5. run  an exercise  a business  a race  a campaign
  6. shoot  a film  past someone  an arrow  a camera
  7. stand  a possibility  a chance  trial  for parliament
  8. take  care  measurements  a promise  the train[/five_sixth]

[one_sixth_last]Sometimes choosing the right word is a matter of identifying the right collocation.[/one_sixth_last]

[five_sixth]❷ Now choose one of the collocations from the previous task to complete each sentence.

  1. It isn’t fair that they  you for other people’s mistakes.
  2. It says in the papers that four men are to  next month for that robbery at our local bank.
  3. Paul crept in at about 2 am trying his best not to  and wake his parents.
  4. I’ve got to  about my research at a seminar next week.
  5. The engineer  very careful  before he cut the metal panel.
  6. We’ve chosen a new advertising agency to  for our latest range of products.
  7. The Minister made a speech to  the soldiers who had fought for their country.
  8. I was winning the race until the very end when Jo  me.[/five_sixth]

[one_sixth_last]Sometimes choosing the right word is a matter of identifying the right collocation.[/one_sixth_last]

Choose the correct option to complete each sentence. In each case, the answer will depend on a collocation.

  1. The sales team  a very successful time at the exhibition.
  2. When she was transferred to the New York office, Sarah joined an evening class in order to  friends.
  3. The proud father was very excited when his son  his first steps.
  4. The lecturer  the class’s attention to an error in the calculations.
  5. My parents contributed a  amount of money to the fund.
  6. There was a time when the  person could not afford a mobile phone.
  7. The CEO will  a meeting with her management team this morning.
  8. All the students on the course are required to  sport every afternoon.


[five_sixth]Choose the correct option to complete each sentence.

  1. The graduation ball promises to be the social  of the year.
  2. People often find it difficult when someone in their own family tries to  them how to drive.
  3. Computer programming is certainly not my  of expertise.
  4. The college offers a  range of evening courses.
  5. At the moment, the country has a number of  economic problems.
  6. The students would find the flat more  if it were closer to the university.[/five_sixth]

[one_sixth_last]To find the correct option, you need to think carefully about the meaning of all the different options.[/one_sixth_last]



  1. Read the title and, if there is one, look at the picture – these tell you the topic of the text.
  2. Read the whole text before you start answering the questions.
  3. When you answer each question, look at both what comes before and what comes after the gap.
  4. Think of a word you might expect to fill the gap before looking at the options.
  5. Consider each of the options, eliminating those you know are incorrect.
  6. Check that the word you choose for each gap makes sense.
  7. Check that the answer you choose fits the sentence grammatically.
  8. When you have finished, read through the whole text to make sure it makes sense.


For questions ❶-❽, read the text below and decide which answer (Ⓐ, Ⓑ, Ⓒ or Ⓓ) best fits each gap. There is an example at the beginning (⓿).

Three theories about sleep

People spend about one-third of their lives asleep. It seems certain, therefore, that sleep has a  function. However, what that function might be is still in . Scientists are far from being in agreement about  why so much of our precious time is given over to sleep.

There seem to be three main theories. The most popular states that the functions and  of sleep are primarily physiological. It claims that we sleep in order to  the health of our
body. In other words, biological processes work hard as we sleep to repair any damage done during the day and to restore ourselves to  efficiency. However, a second theory places more emphasis on the learning benefits of sleep. This theory holds that sleep allows us to process the information that we  during the day, and asserts that , without sleep, learning would not take place. A third popular theory is  on ideas about energy, saying that we need  of sleep in order to, in a sense, recharge our batteries and so have an adequate supply of energy for the coming day.


  1. Only one of these collocates with ‘is still in …’ and fits in terms of meaning.
  2. One of these adverbs collocates strongly with ‘why‘.
  3. Only one of these words is appropriate when discussing a physical function of the body rather than conscious behaviour.
  4. You need to think about both meaning and collocation here to get the correct answer.
  5. Only one of the options collocates with ‘efficiency’ to give the idea of ‘total’.
  6. Only one of these verbs collocates with information’.
  7. Only one of these words fits with the preposition on’.
  8. All these words fit the grammar of the sentence and collocate reasonably well, so think about the meaning here.

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